A guide to South Dakota’s best rockhound hot spots

The Ultimate Source for Rockhounding the Black Hills and Grasslands of South Dakota

Rockhounding in South Dakota

Get out and explore the great outdoors. Enjoy the rewards of finding your own South Dakota treasure.

Don’t have time to find your own gems? Visit one of South Dakota’s Rock Shops for awesome local rocks and minerals.

Buy high quality agate specimens and jewelry from the Agate Mines located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. 

South Dakota is a Rockhound Paradise with unlimited opportunities to find beautiful rocks and fossils. The Black Hills National Forest and Buffalo Gap National Grasslands offer a diverse range of public land to explore.

Explore endless rockhounding opportunities in The Black Hills National Forest.

From Fairburns to Fossils, The Buffalo Gap Nations Grasslands are a rockhounds playground.

Finding a Fairburn

The Fairburn Agate is the South Dakota State Gemstone and is considered one of the rarest fortification agates on earth. Those who have sought the elusive stone can attest that finding one can prove a difficult task. With patience and a little luck, rockhounds can discover a beautiful one of a kind treasure. These three locations have rewarded the persistent with many prizes over the years, and more are still out there waiting to be found.

The Kern Beds near the town of Fairburn, South Dakota have become world famous for producing beautiful Fairburn Agates. Although heavily hunted, trophy agates are found here every year.

A well known rockhound area with endless rock to explore. A relatively easy drive from Rapid City with nice fairburn agates still being found here regularly.

An old local hot spot, the Weta agate beds are east of Badlands National Park and have yielded several quality fairburn agates over the years. 

Fee Digs in South Dakota

Big Thunder Gold Mine

Step back in time and experience an authentic prospecting experience. The Big Thunder Gold Mine offers “On Site Gold Panning” as well as a stream side “Claim Panning” adventure.

Paleo Adventures

An experience you will not soon forget! Travel to the Bad Lands in search of Dinosaur Bones. Unlike many fossil digs you are able to keep any “common fossils” that you find. 

South Dakota Gem & Mineral Clubs

Sioux Empire Gem & Mineral Society

Western Dakota Gem & Mineral Society

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